Criminal Justice System

The Difference Between a Sting Operation vs. Entrapment

When it comes to solicitation charges, understanding the difference between a police sting operation vs. entrapment can have a significant impact on your case. Sting operations, while extremely controversial, are a completely legal way to set up an opportunity to commit a crime whereas entrapment is an illegal form of coercing someone into committing a crime. The line between sting operations and entrapment is very thin, making it easy for police to cross over it and setting the defendant up to use the entrapment defense in court.

In this article, the skilled criminal defense lawyers from Sellers Law Firm are here to help you understand a police sting operation vs. entrapment and explain how you might be able to use entrapment as a defense.

What is a police sting operation?

When police have a strong suspicion that an individual has a predisposition to commit a crime, they may set up a sting operation to create the opportunity to commit that crime. Generally, this includes an undercover or hidden police officer. Although the crime never actually occurs (i.e. sex is never actually traded for money), an arrest can be made so long as the individual shows uncoerced interest or intent to commit the crime.

In the case of prostitution stings, this may even be done through an internet sting operation often targeting the sale of sex with a minor under the age of consent in Texas. For the charges to hold up in these instances, the age of the minor must clearly be stated throughout correspondence. These are the types of defenses your Fort Worth prostitution lawyer might consider when fighting for your freedom. 

Police sting operations may threaten your constitutional rights and leave you wrongly accused. Wondering what to do after being arrested? If you’ve been caught in a sting operation, call an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately and avoid speaking about your case to anyone. Even with the best intentions, what you say can be twisted to make you look guilty of the crime.

What is considered entrapment in Texas?

The entrapment defense is an argument that the police’s involvement induced a person to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. This could be done through persuasion, threats, harassment, or fraud.

Common case types where entrapment is used include:

Continue reading: Is soliciting a prostitute a felony in Texas?

What is the entrapment defense?

Defenses of entrapment fall underneath Texas Penal Code 8.06 which states that this defense may be used when the defendant “engages in the conduct charged because he was induced to do so by a law enforcement agent using persuasion or other means likely to commit the offense.” 

In order to use this as a defense, you must be able to prove that you were not ready or willing to commit the crime and that the police officer used inappropriate pressure (such as applying to an individual’s empathy), harassment, persistent contact after you said no, or fraudulent promises to encourage you to commit said crime. To prove this, there are two strategies you and your criminal defense lawyer can use:

  1. Law enforcement went beyond what is allowed in sting operations by law
  2. You had no prior intent to commit a crime of this nature

It’s important to keep in mind that being given the opportunity to break the law is not the same as being entrapped. Even if you’re unable to use defenses of entrapment, the right Fort Worth sex crimes attorney can help you build a solid defense, working to obtain the best possible outcome.

Caught in a Fort Worth sting operation? Call Sellers Law Firm today.

A police sting operation vs. entrapment is the difference between being tempted to commit a crime of your own will and being coerced to. If you are a victim of a sting operation, you need an experienced legal defense lawyer fighting on your side.

The knowledgeable, skilled criminal defense attorneys at Sellers Law Firm have developed a reputation for intense preparation and formidable trial skills. Frank Sellers, founding attorney, is known around Texas for his high level of professional excellence. When you’re facing criminal charges as a result of a sting operation, these are the lawyers you want on your side.

Contact us online or give us a call at 817-928-4222 today to get started.

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